In the culture section of this week's New York Observer, real estate reporter Max Abelson tries his hand at music criticism and spills a few hundred words on the new album by LCD Soundsystem. We're sure it's a fine piece, but as it happened, we didn't get through half of it before we noticed that the accompanying photograph of James Murphy was taken by none other than Win Butler, lead singer of the Arcade Fire.
Or so it said in the photo credit:
Maybe this was one of those situations where two artists take each other's press photos, we thought, sort of like what happens with some author couples. You know, "Hey, Win, take a picture of me by this wall." "OK." Maybe it was something like that, we thought! Something nice.
Imagine our disappointment when we opened the Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times this morning and discovered the very same photograph, this time credited to "Jake Walters," some guy whose name we did not recognize. Apparently a mistake had been made somewhere at the Observer— understandable since the Arcade Fire is deservedly pretty much all anyone can think about lately. As it happens, though, the truth about Jake Walters and that James Murphy photo he apparently took is no less stunning than the fantasy.
Turns out that until the mid-90s, Jake Walters served as a personal assistant to the great, mysterious Morrissey. He is described in the Sunday Times of London as a "diminutive skinhead former boxer with what insiders describe as a 'checquered past,' and what's more, he and Morrissey are rumored to have been romantically involved.
Win Butler has probably never even kissed Morrissey, or heard the Smiths b-side that Walters is supposed to have inspired.
UPDATE: Jake Walters writes in, saying: "I can't really see what is so funny about it. Win is now a leading fashion and portrait photographer and I am the new lead vocalist with Arcade Fire."